Inspiration is everywhere.


Yesterday Amy and I talked about inspiration while recording our podcast, it was so fun! I had to take a minute and think about where I came up with various ideas for patterns, and I thought today that I would show you just a few.

The first thing I mentioned as a place I find inspiration is in small collections of objects.


Case in point? Russian Rubix!


I explain the story behind this pattern in the podcast, go check it out!


Next place to find inspiration? Architecture! For me specifically concrete and steel detailing. You can see here, this concrete screen was my inspiration for Sweetie Pie.


I’ve got about a billion pictures of various architectural details that catch my eye–then, when I have a minute where I need some ideas those pictures help me out a ton.

Granny Squares by Gracious Rain
Granny Square Quilt by Blue Elephant Stitches for Moda Bake Shop

I also draw inspiration from other crafting avenues. Knitting, crochet, papercrafting, fashion. I don’t have time to keep up on these hobbies on a regular basis, but I keep Pinterest boards and collect images that just conjure up inspiration. The granny squares that are all the rage? Straight out of crochet. Obviously I’m not the only one drawing inspiration from other crafting venues. :)


I mentioned also that I get a lot of inspiration from new color palettes. I subscribe to several blogs that create new color collections from images, and it’s always fun to see new combinations that I wouldn’t have put together, but that are BEAUTIFUL. Even if I don’t love the palette, it helps me to see them and understand what isn’t working about those colors for me. A couple of my favorites? Design Seeds, and Photo Card Boutique.

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 9.09.48 AM

The last place that I talked about drawing inspiration from was menswear textiles. I have been known to stop men on the street and ask if I can take pictures of their tie, even–that’s me, the crazy tie stalker.

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 9.08.06 AM

Really, though, some of the most trendy and lasting patterns are inspired by classic menswear. Houndstooth anyone? Herringbone? How about chevron? All came from timeless wovens.


He Zigs, She Zags was inspired by a woven pattern.

So that’s my top 5 inspiration places! What inspires you? Have you had a chance to listen to QuiltCast yet? What do you think? Suggestions? Tell me your top 5!



PS I still remember, New York. Here’s where I was on September 11th, from a post written in 2011.


9 thoughts on “Inspiration is everywhere.

  1. I loved hearing about your process. I see inspiration everywhere, but sometimes get stuck between that and actually turning it into a quilt. I like your work because I can clearly see the inspiration in your designs, yet they aren’t just an exact drawing of those certain shapes. You have a great eye, and I really appreciate the insight into the whole process.

  2. I love that different things inspire different people. I really like nature and food. Ok, well… I like taking pictures of food and eating food, but I guess I can’t exactly say that it has directly inspired much work. ;) Ha ha ha! Thanks for sharing what inspires you.

  3. LOVE your Russian Rubix pattern. Have made it in brights and then in autumn colors.

    What is the game name that has the octagonal tiles? Looks like fun and we are a game playing family.

  4. Hi, I love sweetie pie pattern… I was also wondering when you are going to post the tutorials for the Twelve Words sampler quilt along……. I would love to be able to finish this quilt.

  5. Those are the best moments when you see something just slightly different than how you’ve always seen it (or never noticed) before.

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